How divorce affects a child's inner world.

This project will shed light on some of the effects of parental separation/divorce on the school-age child psychologically.

Why do I need funding? 

I am currently in my second year of studies and due to my international student status it is nearly impossible to secure funding from the university itself. I have applied to various grants, loans, and scholarships and thus far have not heard back from any for my third year. My parents have been trying to support me living here in order to complete such an important and invaluable piece of research, however, they will not be able to continue funding me for a third year. I am urging you to even donate £5 because this project will help shed some light on the effects parental divorce and separation have on the children involved in order to help draw attention to the lack of support provided here in the UK for this population. Perhaps this study can begin to educate parents, teachers, and support centres about the inner effects of divorce and separation on children which are not visible on the surface. Please take the time to consider how important this work is and how deserving it is of funding. With your donations  I will be able to pay my tuition fees for my third and final year, complete this PhD, and stay here in London! I really do believe in this piece of work and I hope you can see the great benefit in it as well! Thank you for taking the time to read this! 

Project aim

This project explores how parental divorce, in comparison to bereavement, affects the school-age child's inner world psychologically. 

About the project

I am an international student studying here in London from Canada! I am in my second year of full-time PhD studies at University College London, UK. My research interests are divorce, separation, childhood bereavement, parental death and its effects on children, latency-age children, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, child development, reflective functioning, and mentalisation. The present project focuses on how the school-age child (i.e., latency-age) experiences parental divorce, psychologically. This experience will be examined alongside the experience of childhood bereavement (i.e., losing a parent to death). I am also interested in understanding how this type of parental separation and loss is similar and/or different to the experience of parental death for the school-age child. This project is based at the Unit of Psychoanalysis at UCL and at the Anna Freud Centre in Hampstead, London. 

This project is a crucial first step in gaining a better understanding of how divorce, and bereavement affect children psychologically, emotionally, and behaviourally. Throughout the West divorce has in many ways, become a normal part of life. It has shaped many families and children's lives, and has received less attention and support as a result. Through this project teachers, parents, support workers, and caregivers, can begin to understand that there may be effects of divorce and separation that are not visible on the surface but can still persist within the child. This project can open the gateway for further research and attention on the topic and thus may expand our knowledge and support of such a 'normalised' event. Divorce and parental separation can be felt to be a type of little death for children, depending on age and stage of development (DeSpelder & Strickland, 2010). It is also true that within London there are less than a handful of support centres for children of divorce/parental separation. 

I have added this valuable and important project on this website to generate funding. This funding will only be used to pay my tuition fees at UCL for the year 2015/2016 (the third and final year of this project and my PhD). Without this support I may not be able to complete my PhD at UCL and this project will never be published or brought to the public's attention. I believe this would be a great loss to the psychological community and to families all over the UK, and perhaps the world. So I urge you to consider even donating £5 today to help advance this project. This project has received ethics approval from UCL and is progressing at a fast pace through recruitment, training, and writing. If you wish to find out more about this project, the researcher, the supervisors, or the topic please contact me via email. Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider donating to such an important project. 

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